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Kroos returns, Camavinga starts: 4-3-3 predicted Real Madrid lineup against Espanyol



Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Three weeks into the 2022/23 La Liga season, the Santiago Bernabeu is yet to witness the defending champions in the heart of Madrid. Real Madrid have been sent on away trips for the first two games, and will now travel to Catalonia to lock horns against Espanyol tonight.

David Alaba’s individual brilliance rescued Madrid for the first game against UD Almeria, but brazed past Celta Vigo, registering a 1-4 win. Luka Modric was on top of his game, as always, registering a goal and an assist in 77 minutes.

This game, last season, ended in defeat for Los Blancos as Raul de Tomas and Aleix Vidal rippled the net. Tonight, though, things could be different. But first, let us take a look at how Carlo Ancelotti could set his team up for this outing.


Surprisingly, Thibaut Courtois had a lot more work against Almeria than Celta, making five saves. Unfortunately, his efforts in either game were not enough to register his first clean sheet of the season. Can he flip his fortunes around today?

Much of that will also rely on the centre-backs screening him. David Alaba was subbed off early last weekend, and will likely take his place alongside Eder Militao in the heart of the backline.

Flanking them, we will see Daniel Carvajal on duty again as the right-back. With Alvaro Odriozola injured, Carvajal is competing with just Lucas Vazquez for the role.

Ferland Mendy is the only natural left-back in Real Madrid’s roster for tomorrow. He did well to guard Iago Aspas in Vigo, and will have to be on top of his game against the in-form Ruben Sanchez Saez.


We should get to see Toni Kroos back in action tomorrow, starting in his natural role, as the left-sided central midfielder. The German missed the action vs Celta due to poor health, but will be hoping to pick up where he left off after a brilliant display vs Almeria.

Luka Modric has been used sparingly by Ancelotti right now, with the Croatian registering just 120 minutes of action. Following the same pattern, we expect Eduardo Camavinga to retain his spot in the XI, this time alongside Kroos.

Aurelien Tchouameni rounds off the midfield trident as the lone 6 for the third game in a row. He adapted to Real Madrid quickly, averaging two chances created per game, along with a bucket full of defensive contributions.


Karim Benzema has set awfully high standards for himself in the last two seasons. So high that a goal and assist to start the 2022/23 season is seen as underwhelming.

To be fair, though, he has not looked as sharp in front of goal, but these troubles won’t last long enough for him, as he should get the nod as the striker tonight.

On the contary, Vinicius Jr. has picked up where he left off last season. He was on target against Celta in the second half, and soon added assisted Federico Valverde for Madrid’s fourth. He is expected to start on the left-wing.

Four-goal contributions for the star dynamic already. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Rodrygo is just returning from an injury, while Marco Asensio has a foot out of Real Madrid already. Therefore, it should give Valverde another shot at the right-wing after back-to-back solid displays.

Vinicius · Benzema · Valverde
Kroos · Tchouameni · Camavinga
Mendy · Alaba · Militao · Carvajal


Rodrygo and Modric will likely be two of the first players off the bench vs Espanyol; that is, if they do not start.

Antonio Rudiger has received 110 minutes worth of playing time at Real Madrid already, and will, in all likelihood, continue in that capacity.

Vazquez and Eden Hazard are in contention to come off the bench, too. The latter missed a penalty against Celta, which does not help his confidence, but the former has been solid in both his appearances so far, scoring a goal during the opener.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid defender on the radars of Juventus, could leave for €6-8 million



Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Real Madrid are looking towards a heavy splurge in the coming summer transfer window. After all, they do not even have another option given the sheer number of player departures already finalized.

Los Blancos have lost the services of Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz, and Eden Hazard over the past week. While three of the four players predominantly featured on the bench, their presence in the squad gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side much-needed depth and a cushion of sorts.

The forward unit is, thus, the most prioritized department ahead of the transfer window. However, pieces are beginning to fall apart on other fronts and could potentially put the club in a difficult situation.

According to reports from Gianluca Di Marzio, Juventus are eyeing Lucas Vazquez and hope to sign him in the coming month. Contacts between the two parties have begun and the transfer fee discussed appears to be around the €6 million to €8 million ballpark given that he has just one year left on his contract.

The player, for his part, is willing to sign for the Italian giants given his relative lack of minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu. At 31 years of age, he understandably does not want to play a second-fiddle role.

Vasquez played part in 23 of Real Madrid’s 38 La Liga games last season, starting only on 12 occasions. Even in his few appearances, he averaged a mere 50 minutes per game.

The veteran completed the season with four goals and an assist to his name. Further, he averaged five defensive actions and a key pass in every game and feels hard done by his limited role.

Vazquez’s departure would place the club in a tricky situation as it would leave Real Madrid with only Dani Carvajal as a natural right-back option. Nacho Fernandez could, in theory, serve as the backup but a new signing for the position cannot be ruled out.

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